Over the last few weeks I have been working on a project that is almost finished. And it has been taking all my time. Face Book is something I only glance at to check for messages, Readwave and another writers’ network I belong to, I have no time to read. Blogging is reduced to posting the poem I have been fiddling with when I should have been writing pages of manuscript, and Twitter provides light relief in the exchange of micropoems. Though since I have nothing to plug yet, Twitter’s use as a part of my extensive promotional platform is not yet evident.
I worry though, that if I don’t post, chat, tweet, or exchange meaningless banter on FB I will sink into oblivion, my author persona will go into meltdown and nobody will want to read my books. Ever.
But will it? To keep up with all of these different forms of writerly distraction is a full-time occupation. Where do I get the time to write? Do other writers find it so easy to switch from their WIP about, say, paranormal experiences in eighteenth century Poland, to chatting about cats on FB, blogging about the slugs in the garden, or tweeting poetry about trees and seagulls? I know I can’t do it. When I write I am totally absorbed in a particular atmosphere, historical period, and characters who have become real people. I can’t dot about from one way of thinking to another.
I am only writing this post because I have finished an overhaul of the entire text and I’m drawing breath before going back over it again. I freely admit to putting off all the unpleasant, but essential jobs, to cooking boring, samey meals because I can’t waste time thinking up new, interesting things. I don’t go out unless I have to, and hate talking to people because it distracts me from the conversations I’m having in my head.
So, how do other authors treat their social platforms? How do you reconcile plunging into a unique world, creating it block by block, and chatting on FB? Do you set aside a certain time of day to devote to ‘catching up’ even if you’re on a roll with the story you’re writing? What about family and professional life; where do they fit in? Do you sleep? I’d be interested to know how it’s done.